Articles by Erick Trickey

Old Supreme Court Chamber in the U.S. Capitol

History of Now

The History of 'Stolen' Supreme Court Seats

As the Trump administration seeks to fill a vacancy on the Court, a look back at the forgotten mid-19th century battles over the judiciary

An American infantry camp in Siberia, Russia, December 1918

World War I: 100 Years Later

The Forgotten Story of the American Troops Who Got Caught Up in the Russian Civil War

Even after the armistice was signed ending World War I, the doughboys clashed with Russian forces 100 years ago

Detail of a copy of the Declaration printed by Goddard

Women Who Shaped History

Mary Katharine Goddard, the Woman who Signed the Declaration of Independence

Likely the United States' first woman employee, this newspaper publisher was a key figure in promoting the ideas that fomented the Revolution

Debs campaigning for the presidency before a freight-yard audience in 1912.

World War I: 100 Years Later

When America's Most Prominent Socialist Was Jailed for Speaking Out Against World War I

After winning 6 percent of the vote in the 1912 presidential election, Eugene Debs ran afoul of the nation's new anti-sedition laws

Elsie Janis (1889-1956), an American singer, songwriter, actress, and screenwriter

World War I: 100 Years Later

The Sweetheart of the American Expeditionary Force

During World War I, vaudeville star Elsie Janis travelled to France to bring good cheer to U.S. troops

Members of the 369th [African American] Infantry

World War I: 100 Years Later

One Hundred Years Ago, the Harlem Hellfighters Bravely Led the U.S. Into WWI

Their courage made headlines across the country, hailing the African-American regiment as heroes even as they faced discrimination at home

This cartoon from Harper's Weekly depicts how opiates were used in the 19th century to help babies cope with teething.

Inside the Story of America’s 19th-Century Opiate Addiction

Doctors then, as now, overprescribed the painkiller to patients in need, and then, as now, government policy had a distinct bias

Robert La Follette

World War I: 100 Years Later

Fake News and Fervent Nationalism Got a Senator Tarred as a Traitor During WWI

The fiery progressive Robert La Follette responded with a classic defense of free speech in wartime

"Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States" by Howard Chandler Christy. James Madison is at center, seated, to the right of Ben Franklin.

History of Now

Inside the Founding Fathers’ Debate Over What Constituted an Impeachable Offense

If not for three sparring Virginia delegates, Congress’s power to remove a president would be even more limited than it already is

Ask Smithsonian 2017

Where Did the Term “Gerrymander” Come From?

Elbridge Gerry was a powerful voice in the founding of the nation, but today he's best known for the political practice with an amphibious origin

Independence Day Celebration in Centre Square by John Lewis Krimmel (1787–1821)

The Brief Period, 200 Years Ago, When American Politics Was Full of “Good Feelings”

James Monroe’s 1817 goodwill tour kicked off a decade of party-less government – but he couldn’t stop the nation from dividing again

Bronze sculpture of Mercy Otis Warren stands in front of Barnstable County Courthouse, Massachusetts.

The Woman Whose Words Inflamed the American Revolution

Mercy Otis Warren used her wit to agitate for independence

In this June 13, 1917 file photo, U.S. Army General John J. Pershing, center, inspects French troops at Boulogne, France

World War I: 100 Years Later

“I Hope It Is Not Too Late”: How the U.S. Decided to Send Millions of Troops Into World War I

The Allies were desperate for reinforcements, but the U.S. wasn’t quite ready to provide them

Portrait of James Otis (1725-1783)

Why the Colonies’ Most Galvanizing Patriot Never Became a Founding Father

James Otis, Jr. used his words to whip anti-British sentiment into a frenzy—so why isn’t he better remembered now?

"Old City Hall, Wall St., N.Y." Steel engraving by Robert Hinshelwood

George Washington's Congress Got Off to an Embarrassing Start

The new federal government was plagued with absences and excuses—until James Madison helped kick things into gear

Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben was a Prussian soldier designated inspector general of the American Continental Army. He was in charge of training the troops in 1778 during the period of the American Revolutionary War.

The Prussian Nobleman Who Helped Save the American Revolution

When American troops faltered, Baron von Steuben helped whip them into shape

Ex-president Theodore Roosevelt speaks to crowds in Mineola, New York, in support of US entry into the First World War, 1917

World War I: 100 Years Later

Why Teddy Roosevelt Tried to Bully His Way Onto the WWI Battlefield

Tensions ran high when President Wilson quashed the return of the former president’s Rough Riders

President Woodrow Wilson addresses Congress

World War I: 100 Years Later

How Woodrow Wilson’s War Speech to Congress Changed Him – and the Nation

In 70 days in 1917, President Wilson converted from peace advocate to war president

Welles helped FDR with his famous voice—and served as a behind-the-scenes speechwriter, too.

FDR Had a Famous Ghostwriter: Orson Welles

The legendary actor stumped and even wrote speeches for the 32nd president

Thaddeus Kosciuszko

The Polish Patriot Who Helped Americans Beat the British

Thaddeus Kosciuszko engineered the colonial defenses in some of the Revolution's most critical battles